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Population sustainability overview

CSIRO research is informing the complex debate about the optimal numbers and growth rates of human populations.

  • 7 July 2006 | Updated 14 October 2011

Perspectives on ‘optimal’ population levels and growth vary across society.  Debate from interest groups presents well-defined arguments for various population levels and growth policies. 

CSIRO informs the population debate by investigating potential effects on the environment, the economy and resources from population levels and growth.

CSIRO is informing this debate by investigating the effects of different population levels and policies on:

  • the environment
  • the economy
  • resource sustainability

Population analysis and futures modelling

To obtain a balanced understanding of both the positive and negative aspects of population requires an effective integration of their likely impact on natural and human systems such as the environment, the economy and society.

Our futures modelling work uses complex and holistic computer models to investigate how these areas are affected and interact under different population growth and management scenarios.

Read about CSIRO's systems modelling work for assessing development sustainability.